Laurence Cua: Technology can improve living standards
MANILA, Philippines – Laurence Cua’s previous experience in telecommonications at T-Mobile in the US and marketing at Unilever taught him that everything revolves around the user.
“Seemingly complex problems can be distilled into the simple question: 'What do users really want?' Staying laser-focused on answering that question allows you to spend your time on things that really matter."
Cua is now the general manager at Uber Manila. Launched in 2010, Uber's transformational service is now present in over 300 cities and in 2014, was valued at $41 billion.
What Filipino Uber users want is convenience and safety at the push of a button, he says.
Cua is excited about the possibilities for Uber in the country.
“Uber is a fantastic fit for the Philippines. More and more Filipinos are becoming tech-savvy. E-commerce is growing and there is a shift to a more digital economy.”
He explains that Uber is significantly increasing the safety of transportation in the country by bringing unprecedented levels of accountability, transparency, and traceability to transportation.
“In addition, it also provides consumers more choice, which is always a good thing as it helps the industry grow, improve, and move forward.”
The key to this is the accessibility of information.
Technology cannot only help improve our standards of living, but is a key avenue for Filipinos to be a meaningful part of the global economy, Cua says.
Cua would like to see more government agencies embracing technology, considering what it can do to help improve the lives of all Filipinos when creating or amending rules
To that end, Uber Manila announced in February that it would disclose its driver information to the government in order to promote transparency and safety.
This is on top of the supply and demand data Uber is sharing with the government to give policymakers insight in terms of identifying areas where access to transportation falls below commuter demand.
This is in line with Cua’s belief that industries that operate on imperfect information are the ones that can be dramatically improved by technology.
He cites traditional advertising, where measuring the results of marketing campaigns require a little bit of science and art, as another industry that is ripe for disruption through technology.
“The change is already happening, but I don't think we've hit the inflection point yet."